The Center of Pakistan and International Relations (COPAIR), Islamabad organized a virtual conference titled “Realigning Pakistan’s Middle East Geo-Political & Geo-Economic policy.” The panelist of the webinar included professional experts and scholars on the pertinent topic.
Raja Faisal- Senior Journalist, and Advisor on Indo-Pak & SAARC at COPAIR moderated the virtual session. Khalid Latif – Program Director Middle East, COPAIR in his opening remarks stated that the Middle East, for decades, has been one of the primary sources of economic revenue for Pakistan. However, in the last few years, geostrategic compulsions have necessitated Pakistan to adopt a balancing act to safeguard its core national interests.
Dr. Nazir Hussain – A seasoned foreign policy expert, gave an extensive insight on Pakistan’s foreign policy towards the Middle East: Challenges and way forward. He highlighted key diplomatic impediments of Pakistan’s foreign policy and urged that Pakistan should revamp conventional policies and an economic oriented policy would better serve our national interests concerning to the Middle East.
Dr. Qandil Abbas – Assistant Professor, School of Politics and International Relations Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad, expressed his views on Potential prospects for Pakistan’s balancing ties with KSA and Iran. He explained the three pillars of the foreign policy of Pakistan which were given by the Foreign Minister- Peace, connectivity, and development partnership. He said that Pakistan must focus.
Ambassador, Khalid Mahmood – Former Ambassador of Pakistan to Iran, Iraq, China, Saudi Arabia, and Mongolia gave an inclusive address on Redefining Pakistan’s Geo-Political & Geo-economic Ties with GCC states. He categorically emphasized that must not opt the bloc politics. Pakistan should focus on building bilateral ties based on positive sum gains with a non-interventionist strategy in the regional disputes of the Middle East.
Dr. Amna Mehmood – Professor, Dean Faculty of Social Sciences International Islamic University, Aligning Middle Policy vis-à-vis Turkey-Pakistan entente. He remarked that Pakistan should have a clear stance towards the Middle East and Pakistan should determine its foreign policy based on its national interest. She also called for prudent policy formulations for narrative and capacity building towards the Middle East.
Mr. Ikram Syed – Middle East Affairs Expert briefed on Indo-Israel engagement in the Arab world: constraints and policy options for Pakistan. He believes that Pakistan has a massive part in this equation. The country has a vast potential in skilled and unskilled workers, ready to be part of said opportunities and strengthen Pakistan’s economy. Dr. Ikram made an interesting point that Pakistan had gotten the leftovers of geo-economic options until now as the nation has the habit of taking a reactive stance instead of a proactive one. He voiced that the potential of Pakistan in the international economy is massive.
President COPAIR- Ms. Amna Malik in her concluded remarks extended her facilitation to all the panelists and participants. She pronounced that Pakistan cannot afford any destabilization due to several fault lines. Therefore, a holistic approach and inclusive policies out of zero-sum prism will guarantee Pakistan’s national security.
Approximately 250 people from Pakistan and abroad, including representatives of the public and private organizations and students attended the two-hour-long session virtually.